Shooting Solo

Why I Shoot Alone?

Newborn, Maternity and Kids photography is such a different genre in the world of photography. Most people think that we’re photographers with an army on set; assistants lighting technicians make up/hair artists – but this is far from true, at least in Tomato Photo Studio! In Tomato Photo, I shoot alone!

The Question Many Asks

Every now and then, I do get asked the same question…“Hart, why do you work alone?”

Isn’t it a case of “the more, the merrier” where having more people around helps to ensure that things get done faster and therefore….more efficiently?

Sure, it can certainly feel impressive to have a team that can run around doing things on my behalf and make me look “important” during photoshoots. However, to be completely honest, I really don’t need an army to impress you during your photoshoot. I have generals that work behind the scenes and this allows me to show up in my best form to create work that you will love during your photoshoots with me, every single time.

What if I were to turn up with big and expensive lighting and camera systems as a way of justifying my costs… Sounds fancy, right?

Would that really be justified, though?

One of Many Stories

Let me explain further by sharing an experience I had a couple years ago during an extended family photoshoot.

I remember I walked in to a client’s home with a rather compact system (read: mirrorless camera system), which raised an eyebrow and a remark was made on how “little” equipment I’d arrived with.

As it turned out, my minimal system was instrumental in ensuring the experience went along smoothly. As soon as I took my camera out, the 2 year old child that was present instantly decided that she didn’t want to take any part in the photoshoot. Parents, you know too well how these things go.

So yes, the little one decided that everyone else should be in front of the camera, without her. I learnt later on that it usually takes her a while to warm up to new faces.

Of course, part of the reason why this photoshoot was arranged in the first place was to include this 2 year old girl in the photos along with everyone else plus, there were also visiting family members who were going to be around for only a limited time.

And because I was alone, my minimal kit that comes with a silent shutter (so when you click, there is no clicking sound from the camera) was not distracting at all for the little girl while she took her time to open up to me; she wasn’t aware that I had started capturing images silently! As everyone sat down together in their places, I waited for the right moment and “PEEKABOO!”, she appeared at the exact spot that I wanted her to be in! As I continued capturing the shots (silently), she remained clueless but happy and in good spirits! All 14 family members were 100% relieved that we got it done beautifully.

Later on, one of the clients shared with me that he had initial concerns with bulky gear and assistants tagging along for the big family shoot as he was worried these would really make things chaotic. Needless to say he was rather glad that I turned up alone and with minimal gear!

WHY I Shoot Alone?

I haven’t always run a “one man show” during my photoshoots. In the past, my wife would tag along as my assistant for newborn photoshoots. In those days, I remember having to ask twice for the little things I’d I need during the photoshoot and it would take me 2-3 tries before I’d eventually get what I needed. This would often end up in intended moments being lost and therefore, not captured for my clients! It has taken us years of working together to learn to be better at being able to read the other’s creative mind, especially when time is of the essence.

Sure, we’ve since trained ourselves to work really well together. But somewhere along the way, I also found myself wondering what would happen if one day my wife were to feel under the weather on the day of a photoshoot? What would I do then? Postpone the shoot?

So I changed things further, and trained myself to run the show, solo. When clients choose to trust me in capturing their memories, it is my responsibility to ensure that I make it happen accordingly as they have planned whilst being as efficient as possible.

Tomato Photo’s Success – Pre-empt, Pre-empt & Pre-empt

It is the things that we can do for our clients before they even think about that makes us where we are today.

For example, those of you who have used boutique 5 star resort services or even the famed Haidilao restaurant, you’ll find that it is their ability to “pre-empt” what you need even before it crosses your mind that makes their service stand out.


Now, this is not an easy task, but it is something we value and believe in, hence we have kept our business small, serving only a limited number of clients each month so that we can attend to each and every one to the best of our abilities.

I would argue that having more than 1 person in a photoshoot is a luxury that is more beneficial to me as a photographer but not so much for you as a client as it becomes an unnecessary, additional cost to you.

I have always preferred getting things done sooner rather than later and getting more work done for our clients at the lowest possible cost so that we can make enough to use the very best products for them while keeping the business thriving, even during the most difficult times.

I love what I do, so I would love to keep myself competitive and continue to offer the best that I can to anyone who would love to work with us.

  • “We booked a session with Hart for my 6mo baby last Friday. Usually my baby takes a long time to warm up to strangers but Hart literally took only 10mins to get him smiling, interacting and curiously looking around the studio so ready for the photoshoot! It was also a very pleasant experience for myself and my husband. We enjoyed the whole hour there. And then when we received the photos… oh my they were all captured beautifully. Especially my son’s expressions 🥰. Thank you so much Hart! “- Mags Heng

  • “If you want perfect photos that captures the moment, great experience with kids and quick turnaround for the photos – hart is the best! Pricing and packages are clear. Results are always outstanding. Hart is especially necessary if you have a big group. The more people, the harder it is to get a perfect shot (Without photoshop). Hart is good at priming everyone so that everyone is ready and perfect.
    Other Photographers might be able to handle a child with parents – with more and younger kids it gets harder to get perfect shots. We had bambini photography for a single child and it captured the moment, but not perfect for shots with more people” Huiying

  • Hart took a photo of our newborn 3 years back, and we loved the pictures immensely. Those photos are truly timeless, and superbly taken. Late last year, we started to arrange for a photo series with both sides of the extended family members with Hart again. But sadly, my father-in-law passed on in Feb this year. Looking back, we never took enough photos with him, and time truly doesn’t wait for anyone. Instead of putting off the photo session further (who knows what will happen tomorrow…), we proceeded once the pandemic lockdown measures are relaxed. We love the images taken last weekend with Hart, enjoyed the session thoroughly, and will definitely return to update our family portrait in a few years. Photos, especially the amazing ones that Hart always manages to capture, are truly the only way we can freeze time and moments. Our children are all growing up too fast, and our parents growing old too soon and Hart’s photos will be cherished by our family forever.” – Bernice

Your Benefits:

If you have read this far, let me assure you that me being a solo photographer has many benefits for you as a client.

Here are the top 5:
1. There will be only 1 stranger for your child(ren) to warm up to.

2. Our cost stays competitive so you only pay for the results.
2. Consistency is guaranteed so you know what you get.
3. You’ll see images of your child looking directly into the camera with their natural, candid smiles.
4. No third party disruptions; there will be no one else taking up space or interrupting my creative flow especially during crucial moments. These moments are unique and happen in a flash.

So if you understand and love the idea of “Less is More”, I reckon we will work well together!

Oh… have you see more than 1 conductor in an orchestra? No? Never? there must be a good reason why…

Drop us a message and let’s see how we can work together…

    More Reviews

    A Meaningful Gift for Mother’s Day

    Mother and child

    “Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
    The angels, whispering to one another,
    Can find, among their burning terms of love,
    None so devotional as that of ‘Mother’…”

    Edgar Allan Poe, ’To My Mother’

    Throughout centuries, the one thing that we can all agree on, is that no one loves like a Mother does. Unconditional, forgiving, selfless, deep… So when Mother’s Day comes around, many of us feel the need to celebrate and thank the Mother(s) in our lives. She may be your dearest Mother figure, your cherished Wife, your endearing Sister, your favourite Friend. 

    It is only right that She receives the most meaningful, thoughtful, priceless mother’s day gifts. Here’s where Tomato Photo’s professional photoshoot fits the bill. Who wouldn’t want some portraits taken with their growing kids? With living members of their family tree? How many old family photos do YOU personally have? What do those old photos mean to YOU

    If your answer is none, not many… it is time to makeup for the lost time.

    Family is everything and investing in your family’s photographic journal is like saving money every year for rainy days with bad weather, thunderstorm some might call it.

    As prepared as you may be, those rainy days will come.

    We witness way too many “last minute” shoot request because this IS the LAST shoot. Old folks that come with oxygen tank, Middle age folks wheel in as it is too tiring to walk even short distance. You name it, we seen it all.

    When our parents inevitably pass on, or when time flies by and we forget the minute details of our growing kids in everyday life. These are the times when only the tangible memories that we have accumulated over the years really show us that they are worth their weight in gold. Like an emotional time machine, bringing us back in time, filling our hearts with warm nostalgia. Showing future generations their roots. Thank goodness for the camera and your wise action!! 

    We totally understand that getting everyone organised for a photoshoot may not be the easiest thing, especially when you have young kids. Having photographed families of all sizes since 2008, let us help to address some concerns you may have:

    “I’m worried that my child will not cooperate or behave during the shoot and that we will not get the images we want!”
    Many of our clients refer to Hart as the “baby whisperer” or “child whisperer”. With young kids, he is fantastic at getting down to their level, building rapport, playing with them, and understanding what is needed to get their attention or to manage the situation. Our sessions are always relaxed. Because we do all the work to ensure you don’t have to.

    “I want to lose some weight before the photoshoot..”
    This is probably one of the most common worries on all our minds, especially as we grow older and our metabolism slows down.. Thankfully, there are ways to manage this with photographs. Hart is a professional, and along with the technical aspects, he will also guide you on posing, angles etc. There is also the magic of photoshop! Besides, our kids are not going to think “I wish Mummy was 6kg lighter” when they look back on the memories. Instead, they will only feel thankful that they have that memory of their Mummy in their hands!

    “We just don’t have the time!”
    Remember, time waits for no man; our kids grow up very quickly and our parents never stop aging. Apart from the studio and outdoors, we also do home shoots so you do not have to leave your home vicinity, if that helps. Time is always there, you just need to prioritise it accordingly. We make time for things that is important to us. Does current covid-19 situation makes you realised anything about time?

    With Mother’s Day coming up soon, our “1-for-1 Sessions” special may come in handy as these can be in the form of Gift Vouchers too. Purchase a Session Voucher this month and receive another Session Voucher on us. Vouchers are valid for 18 months, plenty of time to use with the extended family, capture other family milestones, or use as gifts for family, friends and colleagues!

     

    If you want perfect photos that captures the moment, great experience with kids and quick turnaround for the photos – hart is the best! Pricing and packages are clear. Results are always outstanding. Hart is especially necessary if you have a big group. The more people, the harder it is to get a perfect shot (Without photoshop). Hart is good at priming everyone so that everyone is ready and perfect.

    Other Photographers might be able to handle a child with parents – with more and younger kids it gets harder to get perfect shots…”

    Hui Ying Lee

    Want it NOW? Simply Fill in simple stuff below and pay with your credit card and we will do the rest for you.


    1 for 1 Gift Voucher
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